The first trade deadline has passed and the Cubs are likely done making any major moves. The waiver wire trades are a different beast entirely and they are usually reserved for minor moves (emphasis on usually). There will be a desire to attach a grade to the Cubs in season moves right now that we have passed one deadline and are in the stretch run of the 2014 season. Truth be told, the Cubs moves are too early in their infancy to really grade out; their value to the Cubs’ franchise will be determined over a course of 3-5 years since their intentions for making those moves took the long view into account.
We can, however, examine the thought process behind the moves and see where the Cubs are now in terms of the seller vs. buyer timeline.
- The Emilio Bonifacio-Jeff Russell trade for Victor Caratini is a gamble on a kid sticking at catcher long enough to provide depth at the position. I’ve heard mixed reports on him, hopefully he’ll land at Kane and I can put eyes on him. We all know what Bonifacio and Jeff Russell are; El Boni had a lot of value off the field as I’d heard he was a true professional who was brought in to teach the kids about life in the majors. He was a leader and created the “Lo Viste” trend on this team. He’ll be especially missed off the field. Russell on the other hand is a lefty with reverse platoon splits so it’s difficult to assess what the Braves thought they were getting here.
- Felix Doubront is a lottery ticket. The comparison to Jake Arrieta is extreme because it assumes that he will be fixed in a similar fashion. We have to remember that Arrieta’s case is rare and it’s very likely Doubront doesn’t work out.
- Getting a minor league asset, even if it’s a tweener guy like Jonathan Martinez, for Darwin Barney is difficult to pull off. That the Cubs got value here for just the one player is impressive.
- Moving Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and a PTBNL seemed like it should move the Cubs timeline back. The Cubs have a glut of shortstop prospects and they aren’t stocked with top tier pitching prospects. I didn’t think it was a major step backwards as the Cubs added a top ten prospect in baseball for a good pitcher in Samardzija and a rental type having a good year in Hammel. Addison Russell can play and all the bats in the system are equity at this point. I’m starting to come around to the belief that starting pitching can be found on the FA market and will be available via trade.
The Cubs have mentioned their intentions to no longer be sellers next year; at least not obvious ones. With Baez and Bryant knocking on the door and Alcántara already here it’s looking like 2015 could be a surprising one pending the moves they make this offseason.
There are cookies on the horizon, folks.
Filed under: Analysis